Research Areas by Faculty
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My research is focused on trust in the workplace.
I study the development of trust and the impact that trust has on both employees and organizations. I examine trust from multiple perspectives: trust in supervisors, trust in subordinates and trust in peers as well as trust in teams.
My current research program investigates the importance of feeling trusted at work. My goal is to identify and explain the factors that contribute to employees feeling trusted at work, and how this feeling of being trusted leads to improved job performance and employee well-being.
I founded the Guelph Organizational Trust (GOT) lab to answer these critical research questions. GOT Lab is an active research lab that provides rigorous training in a positive supportive environment for undergraduate and graduate students.
Currently, I am interested in the statistical issues related to the replication crisis in psychology. In much of this research, I use Monte Carlo simulations to illustrate that beliefs about statistics/research processes commonly held by researchers are incorrect or have boundary conditions that limit generalizability. My I-O Psychology research interests include teamwork, organizational commitment, and the role of emotions in the workplace.
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No
There are many research topics in Industrial/Organizational Psychology that interest me, which is why I am flexible with respect to the topics my graduate students can explore. Having said that I currently have several research directions that I am very excited about and would ideally integrate with future graduate student research.
Much of my research has focused on topics reflecting the research-practice gap with applied/field samples. I have chosen this focus because much research in I-O Psychology does not consider the practical aspects of the research even though our discipline defines itself with both research and practice as core aspects. Another aspect of my research reflects my broad interests in a wide range of topics.
Essentially my research can be organized into three categories: the accuracy and fairness of employee selection methods and decisions, employee health and well-being, and organizational effectiveness. The majority of my research is quantitative using field samples. More recently, I have started integrating mixed methods into my research (i.e. qualitative methods). I involve my graduate students extensively in my research as is evident in their inclusion in conference presentations and publications.
Accuracy and Fairness of Employee Selection Methods
My research in employee selection has focused on the validity and fairness of methods and decision making. This program of research started with my dissertation assessing interviewer biases and validity across different interview formats (i.e. unstructured to structured). Later I published research on general mental ability (GMA) and personality test validity and subgroup differences as well as other assessment tools (e.g. assessment centres, multiple-mini interviews, and work experience). More recently I have published a study assessing the social and financial cost of fixed band decision methods with GMA tests. One published paper I am quite proud of identifies socio-cultural factors that account for subgroup differences in GMA test scores. This is one of the first articles to explain and account for differences across subgroups (beyond race). I plan to continue to focus my research on selection methods and hiring decisions processes that are accurate and fair for diverse applicant groups.
Employee Health and Well-Being
Employee health and well-being has become an important issue for organizations today. My research in this area has focused on work-life conflict, employee incivility, meaning making from stressful experiences, and social support. A key component of this focus is research on first responders and their romantic partners and how they cope with traumatic events experienced at work.
This research has focused on a wide array of practical issues facing organizations today from self-serving biases on organizational surveys to effective processes for leadership assessment. I include my research on organizational commitment in this category as it relates to employee motivation and, by extension, performance. I have two chapters on HR project teams and execution that reflect issues related to effectiveness of the HR function in organizations.
My graduate students are working on a diverse range of projects from HR manager decision making, the individual and organizational impact of employee incivility, and the predictors of employee error reporting at work.
I value open discussions, mutual respect, critical thinking and hard work. I consider my graduate students to be full research partners and the majority of my research is published in collaboration with them. As a senior member of the I/O Area, I plan to continue involving graduate students in the development of ideas and implementation of my research.
My current research focuses mainly on personnel selection, with an emphasis on finding valid and fair methods of hiring the best employees. Most recently, I have investigated two factors that affect interview performance: interview anxiety, which negatively affects interview performance, and impression managment (honest and deceptive), which tends to increase interview performance.
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No
My research focuses on social justice issues. In general, I am interested in the disparities or inequalities that exist between individuals and groups in terms of status, power, and outcomes (e.g., income) in the workplace. I have long-term interests in who is more (vs. less) likely to want to maintain and promote inequality. As such, I have focused on understanding the nature of prejudice (i.e., racism and sexism). Furthermore, I study how people make sense of the differences that exist between individuals and groups in society: are they a result of a fairly operating meritocracy, in which the cream rises to the top, or are they a result of injustices, such as discrimination or processes of cumulative disadvantage? Such different understandings of why inequality exists plays an important role in determining people's reaction to social and organizational policies that are designed to mitigate inequalities like employment equity, or diversity initiatives.
My goal is to conduct top-quality research in close collaboration with students. As a supervisor, I believe it is my role to help students to develop their skills, self-efficacy, and autonomy. I try to create an environment in my lab that is supportive and challenging. Students who work with me get a lot of guidance and feedback-from me and from other students in the lab. I expect students in my lab to be motivated, organized, courteous of others, hardworking, and to have burning intellectual curiosity. Junior students work with me to develop a shared line of research. Senior students have the flexibility to select their own topic under the umbrella of social justice issues. I will be accepting a new graduate student for Fall 2023.
For more information please see our lab website: https://www.sonhinglab.uoguelph.ca/
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: Yes
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and my research interests cover several areas within industrial/organizational psychology and fall within three themes: (a) methods, statistics, and replications, (b) intraindividual process and job performance appraisals and (c) performance appraisals. My interests in methods and statistics are largely concentrated on issues related to replications and reproducibility. My research on job performance concentrates on the dimensions of prosocial and deviant workplace behaviours. Specifically, I am interested in understanding intraindividual (within-person) processes that lead to the occurrence of prosocial and deviant workplace behaviour. In the domain of employee performance appraisals, my work has been aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of managers having considerations other than accuracy when rating employee performance.